Wherever You Go, There You Are

Wherever you go, there you are. Which in some ways is comforting. You can't escape yourself, but maybe that also means that you can never really lose yourself either.

In October, our son was born. About two weeks before his due date. He was breach and surrounded by very little amniotic fluid, so the NHS consultant wanted him out early, and by c-section. (I wasn't too disappointed about this, particularly after the fact, having heard the screams of the women in labor as I strolled to the operating room).

And just like that, we were no longer only me and the Hub, but now there was a Little Guy in the mix too.

Our lives are different now, but I suppose what has surprised me the most throughout my pregnancy, and as I've become a mother, is how much of me is still here. Perhaps it's the way that everyone talks about the life-changing experience of becoming a parent that I wondered if I would suddenly find myself another person.

I am certainly more sleep deprived and crazy. I picture one of us accidentally letting go of the pram on the steep hill that runs behind our house and the Little Guy ending up in a tree, like in one of the Babar stories. And one night, I made the Hub lock all the windows upstairs and hide the key, as if somehow our infant could hop out of his crib and catapult himself out a window -- when at the moment he can only just about hold his head up.

Throughout my pregnancy and these first four months, there are certainly parts of motherhood that are universal. The conversations with the lovely women who comprised my NCT prenatal class - in person and on our whatsapp group - have shown me that I am not alone in finding feeding my child one of the most difficult things I have ever undertaken. We all dread the inoculations our babies seem to need every 4 weeks, and we all seem to think our own child was crying the most in the mom and baby class at the GP surgery.

But in spite of these universities (and some others), I am certainly still shockingly me. As the weeks wear on aspects of my pre-baby personality are emerging more and more, this feels comforting and grounding, in a way I haven't felt since my world suddenly got turned on its head. I've got the Little Guy into a routine -- because I like, and need, a routine. I've got him signed up for classes now that he is a little older and awake for slightly longer during the day, but more because I like classes. And although I eschewed parenting books beforehand -- which is surprising for me -- I now spend a lot of my very spare time reading child-rearing books.

One of the most amazing things about this whole experience is how everyone approaches things differently. You have to I suppose, because you bring so much to the game in terms of your personality, your strength and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes. And because taking care of a little being who really isn't very well-developed when he or she emerges from the womb is just really tough, you have to do things in a way where you can survive -- and eventually thrive, as I think this is the only way your child will end up thriving.

People are so different, so people make completely different parents. And that's O.K. Because all children are different too. And as long as they are loved -- and don't end up in a tree -- I think things might be alright.

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